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FROM SMALL THINGS … : Queensland Small Towns Documentary Project

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Queensland Small Towns Documentary Project - Invite

Queensland Small Towns: Documentary Project – Invite

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Queensland Small Towns: Documentary Project

Brisbane Powerhouse, 12 November to 1 December, 2013

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Queensland’s regional areas are fast becoming the most common subject for the scrutiny of the photodocumentary image-makers. In August the Central Queensland Project exhibition was shown at the Powerhouse in Brisbane and now, only a few months later, another show entitled Queensland Small Towns: Documentary Project is hung in the same venue. This new contribution to the documentation of regional communities is a student/lecturer project initiated by the three big Institutions: University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the Queensland College of Art (QCA).

With the support of academic staff, students of these photography and photojournalism faculties descended on the Queensland towns of Moranbah and Dalby. The exhibition’s coordinator Earle Bridger from QCA, chose these two regional localities because of the impact of mining. To add contemporary photodocumentary rigor to the activity, professional photographers: Russel Shakespeare, Adam Ferguson and Shehab Uddin were collaborators and advisors to the fieldwork.

The project’s mission, as stated in exhibition press, was to capture: ‘The stories, characters and everyday lives of people in Queensland outback towns’1. They further claim that:  ‘this unique photo-documentary project [will] reflect[s] the changing face of rural Queensland.’ 2

This project was instigated to provide an in-field experience for the students. They were charged with the challenge of avoiding the traditional news story and to: ‘capture a visually appealing and thought-provoking narrative to a high-professional standard.’ 3

The exhibition at the Brisbane Powerhouse was extensive–the photographic images and video interviews were shoehorned into every available space. This made viewing of the show a little like a ‘hide and seek’ exercise. Its curation within this space created a fragmented view confusing the holistic flow of the exhibition.

Queensland Small Towns Documentary Project - Installation ... Photo: Doug Spowart

Queensland Small Towns: Documentary Project – Installation … Photo: Doug Spowart

Queensland Small Towns Documentary Project - Installation ... Photo: Doug Spowart

Queensland Small Towns: Documentary Project – Video and Photo installation … Photo: Doug Spowart

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Under the tutelage of lecturers and the photodocumentary practitioners assigned the project, as well as study, research and personal preparation, one may think that these primary concerns are well covered. However there is one other critical factor–The preconditioning from existing media overexposure and hype. This rhetoric includes the following: That these small towns, besieged by the extraordinary pressures of the extractive mining industries, are places in a state of flux between the perceived benevolent farming practices of the past and the boisterous bully of mining. These once sleepy rural places are now zones of friction between itinerant workers, inadequate infrastructure, fractured families and ‘fracked’ communities. Any documentary commentator must not let this prejudice impede their impartial reportage. Furthermore one must consider methodological and ethical issues around the selection of subject/s, the gaining of access and trust and the authenticity of the resulting work.

All that aside, what of the exhibition Queensland Small Towns: Documentary Project? What I found was a proficient and diverse presentation of contemporary photodocumentary work. Mixed in amongst the contemporary trend of the bland document aesthetic were emotive and sensitive photographs of private lives in difficult times. Images were grouped as mini photo-essays enabling a concept or a subject to be pursued.

Importantly the opportunity provided to these students and the lecturers to get into the field is one of the best lessons they both can have. As mentor Russell Shakespeare comments: ‘I think these projects are so important on every level. To get students out working on self generated stories and also for the Town to have a group of photographers recording “History” as they see it, and then to be archived by the State Library, hopefully this project will continue on throughout other Qld Towns in years to come.’ 4

Unlike the financial reality that students may encounter in their post graduation world, a $50,000 Arts Queensland Creative Partnership Grant funded the Small Towns Documentary Project5.  And fittingly, considering the generous budget for the project, the photographs and video works will be gifted to the people of Queensland by their inclusion in the permanent collection of the State Library of Queensland.

This work will add to a significant archive for the future, however I’m concerned about the ‘thought-provoking narrative’ and its importance now. The exhibition at the Brisbane Powerhouse only marginally serves the purpose and power of contemporary documentary work … to communicate. No mention is given to exhibitions in Dalby and Moranbah–the communities that gave the project subject matter to image and document. The project is also left wanting in the application of eJournalism platforms like YouTube, Facebook, blogs and websites. Googling the project one encounters variations of the same succinct media release without external links to any online archive that says what was done, who did it and most importantly, provide a space for the communities documented to share and extend their stories.

The domain of the photodocumentary practitioner is not just the creation of material for the archive–its perhaps more important role is now, being in and of the times, and the communities and people who shared stories and submitted their lives to the gaze of these lens men and women. These stories are required now to inform, to cajole, to stir commentary and demand corporate and political acknowledgement, response and action. That’s where documentary photography does its best work …

Dr Doug Spowart

December 27, 2013

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1  http://brisbanepowerhouse.org/events/2013/11/12/queensland-small-towns-photo-documentary-project/

2  Ibid

3  http://www.uq.edu.au/sjc/qld-towns-project

4  Online correspondence from Russell Shakespeare

5  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/earle-bridger/b/521/737

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What follows are images and videos from the exhibition.

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Please Note: The photographs in this exhibition were presented as multiple image groups – only single images represent the photographer’s body of work. I have included the photographer’s statement under most images to give an understanding of their project and the context for the work. Most images in this review are from camera exposures within the exhibition environment and may not represent the image/s accurately due to reflections and uneven lighting.

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Al Phillips, Drilling Supervisor  Moranbah   Adam Ferguson and Brodie Standen, 2013

“Al Phillips, Drilling Supervisor + Chris Mannion, Driller, Moranbah” Photo: Adam Ferguson and Brodie Standen, 2013

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Kimberley McCosker Potential buyers survey a pen of cattle at the Dalby sale yards. The weekly auctions are Australia’s larget one-day cattle sale, with over 6,000 head of cattle passing through each week....Photo: Kimberley McCosker

Potential buyers survey a pen of cattle at the Dalby sale yards. The weekly auctions are Australia’s larget one-day cattle sale, with over 6,000 head of cattle passing through each week.Photo: Kimberley McCosker

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Joyce Coss 83 years old with "Waddles" her Sliky Cross. 63 years living in Warra Warra. Dalby Region. Russell Shakespeare 2013

“Joyce Coss”
83 years old with “Waddles” her Sliky Cross.
63 years living in Warra.
Photo: Russell Shakespeare 2013

Beyond the sporting ovals, on the outskirts of Moranbah, Sean lives in a trailer. The trailer is powered by a petrol generator and drinking water tanks are filled at a family member's house. He lives there by choice, a house has “too many walls” . Separated from his wife Sean shares custody of their 5 boys. Charlie, Darcy, Bailey, Harley, and Riley spend each weekend with their Dad and I was fortunate enough to spend a few days with them while they visited over school holidays.  With Moranbah as a backdrop, a town w here much of the population's main objective is obtaining and retaining material wealth, getting rich and getting out, Sean's lifestyle begs a closer look at what separates need and want. I would like to thank Charlie, Darcy, Bailey, Harley, Riley and Sean for their hospitality and allowing me to tag along with them. ...Photo: Cory Wright

Beyond the sporting ovals, on the outskirts of Moranbah, Sean lives in a trailer. The trailer is powered by a petrol generator and drinking water tanks are filled at a family member’s house. He lives there by choice, a house has “too many walls”. Separated from his wife Sean shares custody of their 5 boys. Charlie, Darcy, Bailey, Harley, & Riley spend each weekend with their Dad and I was fortunate enough to spend a few days with them while they visited over school holidays. With Moranbah as a backdrop, a town where much of the population’s main objective is obtaining and retaining material wealth, getting rich and getting out, Sean’s lifestyle begs a closer look at what separates need and want. I would like to thank Charlie, Darcy, Bailey, Harley, Riley & Sean for their hospitality & allowing me to tag along with them. Photo: Cory Wright

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Moranbah McDonald’s which lies on the outskirts of town. ... Photo: Julia Whitnell

“Moranbah McDonald’s which lies on the outskirts of town” Photo: Julia Whitwell

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Eva Turek-Jewkes-Queensland Small Towns Documentary Project

The Wilkie Creek Rural Fire Brigade in conjunction with other local fire brigades, coordinate necessary hazard reduction fires, as well as keeping life threatening fires at bay during the high risk summer season. Pictured [in my project] are their lives on a daily basis, as well as their involvement in a hazard reduction fire completed near Lake Broadwater in October, 2013. Photo: Eva Turek-Jewkes

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Four videos by students from the University of Queensland School of Journalism and Communication:

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Grassdale Feedlots ... Photo installation: Victoria Nikolova

“Grassdale Feedlots”
A curios 2 year old, 620kg Hereford steer in Grassdale Feedlots state of the art facility (to extreme left of series). Pens are cleared every 50 days as part of the facilities self-audited quality and health assurance measures. World class traceability systems allow staff to track, monitor and isolate specific data on each individual beast, including birth date, purchase date and origin, weight, breed, feeding ration and medical record. Established in 2008, Grassdale Feedlot is a 13,000 acre property 30kms south of Dalby centre. Currently with over 38,000 head of cattle and a capacity of up to 50,000 head, the feedlot boasts one of the largest and most technologically advanced feedlot facilities in Australia. The estimated $60 million facility employs over 50 staff and is a major driver in the economic stability of the Dalby, Millmerran and Chinchilla region and remains at the forefront of grain-fed beef production in Australia employing some ground breaking technologies in milling and feeding processes. Photo installation: Victoria Nikolova

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Grassdale Feedlots ... Photo installation (detail): Victoria Nikolova

“Grassdale Feedlots” Photo installation (detail): Victoria Nikolova

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Liss Fenwick Garden Bed. Cunningham Street ... Photo: Liss Fenwick

Garden Bed. Cunningham Street Photo: Liss Fenwick

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"Some Trash, Others Treasure" Pioneer Park Museum in Dalby seems a place suspended in time, somewhere around the beginning of the 20th century. Located on Black Street - once very quiet and peaceful but nowadays one of the main truck parking spots in town - the museum is a magical space with colonial houses and antique machinery, accompanied by rustling of leaves and birds trill. Elaine and Daniel Fox, the main founders, have lived on-site for almost 11 years, taking care of this magical place on a daily basis. They began 23 years ago with only seven antique tractors. Today, they can boast of one of the largest collections of operating antique agricultural machinery in Queensland - some of which date back to the early 19th century. Together with a few passionate volunteers they keep the place alive and once a year, during Field Weekend, the town of Dalby travels in time to discover again the old knowledge, tradition and way of living of their ancestors. The Museum is mostly financed by an annual fund from the local government, entry tickets, and the craft shop income and he Field Day. However, it is hard enough to keep it working, with a fast developing technology and little funding; they struggle to keep their museum operating in the modern, quickly changing mining town, that Dalby as become. ... Photo:  Kasia Strek

“Some Trash, Others Treasure”
Pioneer Park Museum in Dalby seems a place suspended in time, somewhere around the beginning of the 20th century. Located on Black Street – once very quiet and peaceful but nowadays one of the main truck parking spots in town – the museum is a magical space with colonial houses and antique machinery, accompanied by rustling of leaves and bird’s trill. Elaine and Daniel Fox, the main founders, have lived on-site for almost 11 years, taking care of this magical place on a daily basis. They began 23 years ago with only seven antique tractors. Today, they can boast of one of the largest collections of operating antique agricultural machinery in Queensland – some of which date back to the early 19th century. Together with a few passionate volunteers they keep the place alive and once a year, during Field Weekend, the town of Dalby travels in time to discover again the old knowledge, tradition and way of living of their ancestors. The Museum is mostly financed by an annual fund from the local government, entry tickets, and the craft shop income and the Field Day. However, it is hard enough to keep it working, with a fast developing technology and little funding; they struggle to keep their museum operating in the modern, quickly changing mining town, that Dalby has become. Photo: Kasia Strek

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No Access. This work is not against mining. For whether it be the computers we use to stay connected, the solar panels we purchase that make us feel socially responsible or the cameras I use to tell stories, mining is embedded into the fabric of the 215 t century. The debate should not be whether or not to mine, but rather how is mining to be controlled. What became obvious in Moranbah was that combined the mining companies controlled the political and social agendas. Through ostensibly generous salaries, subsidized housing and rare community donations mining companies have become the pushers and the population the addicts. Mine workers are afraid to speak to strangers for fear they are the media. Criticism is only whispered when in the company of friends. The right to have an opinion that may differ from the company has been severely eroded. To express that opinion puts job and home at risk. No Access argues that Australia should retain exclusive rights to its resource management. It argues for controlled mining. But most of all it presents a snapshot of the liberties we have sold in order to satisfy those who seek to maximize profits and minimize social responsibility. Moranbah. David Lloyd. 2013.

“No Access”
This work is not against mining. For whether it be the computers we use to stay connected, the solar panels we purchase that make us feel socially responsible or the cameras I use to tell stories, mining is embedded into the fabric of the 21st century. The debate should not be whether or not to mine, but rather how is mining to be controlled. What became obvious in Moranbah was that combined the mining companies controlled the political and social agendas. Through ostensibly generous salaries, subsidized housing and rare community donations mining companies have become the pushers and the population the addicts. Mine workers are afraid to speak to strangers for fear they are the media. Criticism is only whispered when in the company of friends. The right to have an opinion that may differ from the company has been severely eroded. To express that opinion puts job and home at risk. No Access argues that Australia should retain exclusive rights to its resource management. It argues for controlled mining. But most of all it presents a snapshot of the liberties we have sold in order to satisfy those who seek to maximize profits and minimize social responsibility. Moranbah. David Lloyd. 2013.

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The photographers and video producers retain all copyright in their images and presentations. Text and installation photographs © 2013 Doug Spowart

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CENTRAL QLD PROJECT: REVIEW published in Queensland Review

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QLD-Review-Cover

The latest issue of the journal Queensland Review features a review by us of the exhibition The Central Queensland Project that was shown at the Powerhouse Brisbane from 22 July to 18 August, 2013.

As the journal has publishing rights over their commissioned review we are unable to publish the text here. The review can be accessed from Cambridge Journals with the following links–a charge applies unless you are able to gain access through an academic institution or library.

The Central Queensland Project (Powerhouse Brisbane, from 22 July to 18 August 2013).
Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart December 2013
Queensland Review, ,Volume20, Issue02, December 2013 pp 238-240
http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1321816613000329
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As an introduction to the piece we provide the following:

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Queensland, its society and natural resources, has been the source of investigation by photographers for over 150 years. In the 1860s surveyor and photographer Richard Daintree created a quantitative analysis of the region’s potential for development. Associated with this record was a significant visual document in the form of photographs. In the lead up to Australia’s Bicentennial of white settlement the Queensland Art Gallery commissioned 6 photographers under the title Journeys North, to travel the state and: ‘produce a portfolio of photographs on the theme of community life in Queensland’ (Williamson 1988: p5). Now, nearly 25 years after this latest project, two photographers, Kelly Hussey-Smith and Alan Hill, have travelled north with cameras to document the current life and situations of people far away from the urbanized southeast corner.

The products of this latest documentary coverage were presented as the exhibition The Central Queensland Project (CQP) at the Powerhouse in Brisbane from July 22 to August 18, 2013. In exhibition material the photographers claim that:

Given the complexity of the modern economy, and the insularity of city life, many of us are blind to what lies beyond the city limits. Through this project we seek to gain insight into the lives, values and experiences of Central Queenslanders (Hill and Hussey-Smith 2013).

.References:
Hill, A. and K. Hussey-Smith. (2013). “About: Central Queensland Project ”   Retrieved 25 July 2013, from http://centralqldproject.com/about/.
Williamson, C. (1988). Journeys North – Photographic Practice in Queensland in the 1980s: one aspect. Q. A. Gallery. Brisbane, Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery.

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A selection of installation photographs as well as images and captions commented on in the review are published here courtesy of the photographers Kelly Hussey-Smith and Alan Hill:

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Installation triptich Photos: Doug Spowart

Installation triptich ….Photos: Doug Spowart

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The artwork: 'Postcards From The Shires' by Kellie Hussey-Smith and Alan Hill from The Central Queensland Project exhibition at  Photo: Doug Spowart

An exhibition visitor is photographed before the artwork Postcards From The ShiresInstallation photo: Doug Spowart

Postcards from the Shires

Postcards from the Shires

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 'The New Village'  Photo: Doug Spowart

The New Village ..Installation photo: Doug Spowart

The New Village With 3048 beds, The MAC Coppabella is one of the largest workers villages in Australia and larger than many towns in the region. Up to 1000 people will check in or out on any given day.

The New Village
With 3048 beds, The MAC Coppabella is one of the largest workers villages in Australia and larger than many towns in the region. Up to 1000 people will check in or out on any given day.

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5am Three Moon Motel, Monto.  FIFO and DIDO have entered the Australian vocabulary, along with debates about their social impacts. As a result, accommodation is often difficult to find, and motels have become temporary homes for transient workers.

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Three Moon Motel, Monto. FIFO and DIDO have entered the Australian vocabulary, along with debates about their social impacts. As a result, accommodation is often difficult to find, and motels have become temporary homes for transient workers.

Caterpillar Cowboy Greg Barr introduced us to the phenomena of the Caterpillar Cowboy, which he describes himself as, being a 'Cat' machinery operator in the mines who is really a cowboy at heart. He and his partner Debbie run a modest property where they spend half the week on the land with their crops, cattle, and horses, and the other half of the week in the mines to support their rural lifestyle.

Caterpillar Cowboy
Greg Barr introduced us to the phenomena of the Caterpillar Cowboy, which he describes himself as, being a ‘Cat’ machinery operator in the mines who is really a cowboy at heart. He and his partner Debbie run a modest property where they spend half the week on the land with their crops, cattle, and horses, and the other half of the week in the mines to support their rural lifestyle.

Karlaa FIFO work does not just apply to mining. Karlaa works legally as a FIFO sex worker in the Central Queensland region. In 2010 Karlaa was asked not to return to a motel she had been working from discretely for two years after the proprietors realised she was a sex worker. She took the motel to court claiming discrimination on the basis of her profession. She initially lost this case, as it was found the motel did not discriminate against her because she was a sex worker, but because she was running her business from their premises. Many feared the decision would send the industry underground, resulting in unsafe working conditions and less transparency. Karlaa appealed the decision and in 2012 it was ruled that discrimination had taken place and the decision revoked. However, in November that year the Queensland Government made changes to the anti-discrimination act making it legal for moteliers and hoteliers to refuse sex workers accommodation.  Karlaa understands her profession may not appeal to everyone, but believes she has as much right as other businesses to take advantage of opportunities in the region.

Karlaa
FIFO work does not just apply to mining. Karlaa works legally as a FIFO sex worker in the Central Queensland region. In 2010 Karlaa was asked not to return to a motel she had been working from discretely for two years after the proprietors realised she was a sex worker. She took the motel to court claiming discrimination on the basis of her profession. She initially lost this case, as it was found the motel did not discriminate against her because she was a sex worker, but because she was running her business from their premises. Many feared the decision would send the industry underground, resulting in unsafe working conditions and less transparency. Karlaa appealed the decision and in 2012 it was ruled that discrimination had taken place and the decision revoked. However, in November that year the Queensland Government made changes to the anti-discrimination act making it legal for moteliers and hoteliers to refuse sex workers accommodation.
Karlaa understands her profession may not appeal to everyone, but believes she has as much right as other businesses to take advantage of opportunities in the region.

From the 'Transmission' series A section of the 540-kilometre long coal seam gas pipeline currently under construction crosses a property near Thangool. The pipeline stretches from southern Queensland to a liquefaction plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone.

From the ‘Transmission’ series
A section of the 540-kilometre long coal seam gas pipeline currently under construction crosses a property near Thangool. The pipeline stretches from southern Queensland to a liquefaction plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone.

From the 'Extraction' series View towards Dawson Mine Complex, Moura.

From the ‘Extraction’ series
View towards Dawson Mine Complex, Moura.

From the 'Transmission' series Coal and electricity are inextricably linked. In the first half of the 20th century, Brisbane’s electricity came from power stations in the city that were fuelled by coal from Ipswich. Now Queensland is part of a complex energy network not only spanning the state and the nation, but as the world’s largest coal exporter, the globe. Powerlines outside Middlemount.

From the ‘Transmission’ series
Coal and electricity are inextricably linked. In the first half of the 20th century, Brisbane’s electricity came from power stations in the city that were fuelled by coal from Ipswich. Now Queensland is part of a complex energy network not only spanning the state and the nation, but as the world’s largest coal exporter, the globe. Powerlines outside Middlemount.

From the 'Extraction' series Export ready semi-hard coking coal in a Bowen Basin coal mine (Moorvale).

From the ‘Extraction’ series
Export ready semi-hard coking coal in a Bowen Basin coal mine.

From the 'Extraction' series Coal mining in the Central Queensland region is a 24-hour operation.  The night shift begins in a Bowen Basin coal mine near Mooranbah (Moorvale).

From the ‘Extraction’ series
Coal mining in the Central Queensland region is a 24-hour operation. The night shift begins in a Bowen Basin coal mine near Mooranbah.

From the 'Extraction' series Coal mining in the Central Queensland region is a 24-hour operation.  Night shift in a Bowen Basin coal mine near Mooranbah (Poitrel).

From the ‘Extraction’ series
Coal mining in the Central Queensland region is a 24-hour operation. Night shift in a Bowen Basin coal mine near Mooranbah.

From the 'Transmission' series Tannum Sands, south of Gladstone. In addition to being a major coal port, Gladstone is the destination for several major coal seam gas pipelines snaking their way through the Central Queensland landscape. The pipelines will deliver gas to three major liquefaction and export facilities currently under construction on Curtis Island.

From the ‘Transmission’ series
Tannum Sands, south of Gladstone. In addition to being a major coal port, Gladstone is the destination for several major coal seam gas pipelines snaking their way through the Central Queensland landscape. The pipelines will deliver gas to three major liquefaction and export facilities currently under construction on Curtis Island.

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Photos © 2013 The Central Queensland Project Kelly Hussey-Smith and Alan Hill and installation photos Doug Spowart.

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HEATHER FAULKNER’s ‘A Matter of Time’ Exhibition

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Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

In Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

A Matter of Time – Heather Faulkner, Brisbane Powerhouse 26 March–28 April 2013.

Today everyone possesses a camera so by association everyone is a photographer and everyone takes photographs. Evidence of this activity is in all kinds of spaces we inhabit, but of course it is most prevalent in the pervasive and immediate space of online social media. Andy Warhol once exhorted that: ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’, and perhaps the proliferation of photography in Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram has indeed made everyone famous, as some purport, ‘for 15 people’1. The extension of this euphemism could be that ‘everyone may be famous for 15 online photographs.’

But what has all this to do with an exhibition of documentary photographs in suburban Brisbane? Well … for me ‘photography’ in the hands of casual shooters, responding spontaneously to their lives, represents only a segment of the world’s daily dose of photography. Documentary photographers for example, use photography as visual research to inform and create understanding for others. These photographers are usually directed by passion for a particular issue, and driven by the need to tell stories of others and maybe even–of themselves. In this context the act and product of photography transcends the milieu of images and provides us with a deeper connection through the communication of the narrative. This exhibition is from one such photographer.

Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time, at the Brisbane Powerhouse, is a charged and evocative statement about the circumstances, situations and legacies of lesbian women living in the state of Queensland. Faulkner documented the lives of eight women and their significant lived experience of the political and social regimes that existed and, as claimed in the exhibition statements, still exists today.

Faulkner’s images take on two separate forms: large format black and white full frame portraits, and colour images of a more documentary nature. In the large portraits the subject’s stare is direct to camera capturing the viewer’s attention in what Faulkner describes as the ‘oppositional gaze’2. They are assertive and declare ‘this is me’. Placed alongside these portraits is the biography and backstory of each woman. For the viewer/reader in this juxtaposition the text and the image creates a silent dialogue. As in the examples of Faulkner’s presentation of Carol Lloyd’s story shown here.

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd – the large portrait. Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

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The colour images are extremely intimate and distinctly banal, perhaps exhibiting the photographer’s light touch to aesthetically intervene in the narrative. The subject is imaged engaging in life’s everyday activities: cuddling a family pet, on the couch watching TV, talking with others, arranging things on a bed. The photographic treatment of these photographs is not the sensationalised grainy monochrome, extreme perspective depth and overtly dramatic composition that so often pervades the modern photojournalistic genre. There is a sense of the view being derived from ‘hanging out with friends’, and of the camera as an invisible witness. For me this approach results in authentic and genuine documents.

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd in a reflective moment – Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd as performer – Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

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The exhibition also includes historical family snapshots that are presented alongside the recent images. A young child smiles back at the viewer, faded and colour-casted prints and wedding group photographs all add to the story of each subject. To protect the anonymity of people in these images black bands have been placed across faces to prevent recognition. The integration of these photographs extends the exhibition beyond just being about photographs and into the realm of a more complete and provocative social documentary statement.

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd’s personal image history in Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

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Ultimately everyone will draw their own conclusions about the women portrayed and the lives that they have lived, or should I say, endured. Faulkner states in exhibition materials that a research report suggests that: ‘Queensland is the most homophobic state in Australia’3. Facilitated through Faulkner’s photographs, exhibition strategies and other products resulting from this work, the stories told here engage with the human face of the weary struggle, of these women’s resilience, and the strength gained by the rewards of living an authentic life.

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Dr Doug Spowart with a contribution from Victoria Cooper

More on Heather Faulkner: http://heatherfaulkner.com.au/

1 Bell Hooks (1992) The Oppositional Gaze in Black Looks: Race and Representation, Boston: South End Press.

2 http://web.archive.org/web/20061214124420/http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/mtarchive/004264.html

3 Faulkner’s Artist’s Statement cites Roy Morgan Research (2008-2010)

Heather Faulkner

Heather Faulkner @ the opening

Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

All exhibition photographs © Heather Faulkner 2013.

Images of the exhibition installation and text by Doug Spowart .

Creative Commons-by-nc-nd.eu

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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